CurrentC


'CurrentC' Articles

MCX Ends CurrentC Beta Test, Postpones All Further Releases

The Merchant Consortium Exchange, aka MCX, today told beta testers that it is suspending its CurrentC beta test on June 28 and postponing all further releases of the payments platform. The news was delivered in an email sent to all Columbus, Ohio beta testers and shared by The Consumerist. On June 28, when the beta test ends, MCX plans to disable all active accounts and end customer access. MCX has also announced the news on the CurrentC website, complete with an FAQ for customers that says MCX has "not yet determined the future timing of CurrentC" but will provide further details in the future addressing whether or not the project will be continuing. Last month, MCX CEO Brian Mooney announced plans to postpone the rollout of the CurrentC payments platform following feedback from the beta test. At the same time, he said MCX would downscale and lay off 30 employees as part of an effort to transition from a consumer-facing product to building business partnerships with financial institutions. MCX, a consortium of merchants like Walmart, Best Buy, CVS, Rite Aid, Target, Lowe's, and more, has been working on implementing the CurrentC platform since 2012. It was once believed CurrentC could be a major Apple Pay competitor given the number of retailers backing the effort, but interest appears to have fizzled out. CurrentC required customers to open an app and scan a QR code to make a payment, a convoluted system described as offering minimal benefit to consumers. Its implementation was not as simple as Apple Pay or other payment options from Google and Samsung,

MCX Postpones Rollout of Apple Pay Rival 'CurrentC'

Apple Pay competitor Merchant Payment Consortium, aka MCX, has decided to postpone the rollout of its CurrentC payments platform following feedback from its pilot program. MCX will be downscaling and laying off 30 employees as it transitions to focusing on business partnerships with financial institutions instead of building out CurrentC. MCX CEO Brian Mooney announced the news in a statement today, which was shared by TechCrunch. Utilizing unique feedback from the marketplace and our Columbus pilot, MCX has made a decision to concentrate mode heavily in the immediate term on other aspects of our business including working with financial institutions, like our partnership with Chase, to enable and scale mobile payment solutions. As part of this transition, MCX will postpone a nationwide rollout of its CurrentC application. As MCX has said many times, the mobile payments space is just beginning to take shape -- it is early in a long game. MCX's owner-members remain committed to our future. As a result, MCX will need fewer resources. This change has resulted in a staff reduction of approximately 30 employees. These are very tough decisions, but necessary steps.MCX, a consortium of merchants like Walmart, Best Buy, CVS, Rite Aid, Target, Lowe's, and more, has been working on the CurrentC payments platform since 2012. Given that it was backed by multiple high profile retailers, it was believed CurrentC could be a major Apple Pay competitor, but over the past two years, it has not moved out of the testing and development phase. CurrentC made headlines in 2014 after

Target Working on QR Code Mobile Wallet as Apple Pay Holdout Continues

Target is in early stages of developing its own mobile wallet solution that could launch as early as next year, according to Reuters. The fourth-largest U.S. retailer is leaning towards using QR code technology for the payments app, rather than NFC, enabling customers to purchase goods by scanning a code at checkout akin to Walmart Pay announced last week. Target is working on a mobile wallet for use at checkout (Image: MADELINECOYNE) The retailer reportedly plans to integrate the mobile wallet into its existing app available on iOS and Android, and will directly link customers' credit cards for payments. The wallet will likely support both Target's Red store credit and debit cards and ones from other issuers. Target does not currently accept any mobile wallets in it stores, but does support Apple Pay in its iPhone and iPad app. Target's plans to launch its own mobile wallet raise questions about its commitment to rival payment platforms. A company spokesperson confirmed that Target remains an active member of the Merchant Customer Exchange, a consortium of retailers developing the payments system CurrentC, and the retailer is also exploring additional mobile wallet solutions, according to the report. Target CEO Brian Cornell said in May that the retailer is "open-minded" about supporting Apple Pay or other payment services after upgrading its point-of-sale systems with chip-and-PIN card support, but the company has not announced any specific plans since. A few other MCX retailers including Best Buy and Rite Aid have already reversed course and started accepting

Chase Launches 'Chase Pay' Payments Service to Compete with Apple Pay

JPMorgan Chase & Co today announced plans to launch its own payments service to compete with Apple Pay, reports Re/code. The news comes courtesy of Chase CEO of Consumer and Community Banking, Gordon Smith, who announced "Chase Pay" at the Money20/20 payments conference in Las Vegas. Chase Pay will work via QR code instead of over NFC, allowing customers to make purchases with their smartphones by showing a QR code to a cashier. If that sounds a lot like the MCX Consortium's upcoming CurrentC platform, it's because Chase is partnering up with MCX for its payments service. The MCX Consortium, which promotes the QR-based CurrentC app and payments service, consists of collection of merchants like Walmart, Target, Sunoco, Kohl's, Best Buy, Rite Aid, CVS, Lowe's, Sears, Shell, Michaels, 7-Eleven, and more. Once available, CurrentC will be available as a payment option in all of these retail locations, as will Chase Pay.In some of these stores, customers will be able to pay by showing a QR code within the Chase Pay app. In others, Chase customers will have to use Chase Pay inside MCX's own CurrentC app. It's not clear which of the MCX member retailers will support which method.CurrentC has been in development for multiple years, giving Apple Pay an edge with its earlier release timeline. While most MCX members were originally subjected to an exclusivity agreement, that has since expired, leading several MCX Consortium members to offer support for Apple Pay. Chase itself also supports Apple Pay, allowing Chase credit cards and debit cards to be used with Apple's payments

Best Buy Rolling Out In-Store Apple Pay Support in U.S.

Best Buy has accepted Apple Pay for in-app payments since April, and now the U.S. electronics retailer has begun rolling out the iPhone-based mobile payments service in stores. A new YouTube video and Reddit thread confirm customers making successful debit and credit card purchases using both Apple Pay and Android Pay at separate Best Buy stores in California. Best Buy is now permitted to support Apple Pay, Android Pay and other NFC payment services after its three-year exclusivity period with payment consortium Merchant Customer Exchange (MCX) expired in August. MCX has developed its own mobile payments service called CurrentC, which some retailers began testing in August but may not see a broad launch until 2016. Best Buy has not officially announced Apple Pay availability at its U.S. retail chain, but the company did confirm in April that it would roll out in-store support later in 2015. Best Buy joins Rite Aid, Meijer and other retailers as MCX members that now accept Apple Pay, but others such as Walmart have no plans to support the service. (Thanks, Jarod!)

Several Retailers to Begin Testing Apple Pay Rival CurrentC

Nearly three years after the Merchant Customer Exchange (MCX) was founded in August 2012, several U.S. retailers and restaurants belonging to the consortium will begin publicly testing their Apple Pay rival CurrentC in Columbus, Ohio over the coming weeks, according to The Wall Street Journal. CurrentC is a mobile payments solution that requires scanning a QR code with a smartphone for contactless payment from a checking account, gift card or private label debit or credit card. The service does not currently accept major bank-issued credit cards such as Visa or MasterCard as retailers look to avoid costly fees. Public testing of CurrentC is set to begin just as MCX's three-year exclusivity window expires this week, allowing retailers to explore other mobile payment solutions. Yesterday, MCX member Rite Aid reversed course and will begin accepting Apple Pay and Google Wallet on August 15, in addition to Android Pay when available. Best Buy, a founding member of MCX, also began accepting Apple Pay for in-app purchases in April and announced that full Apple Pay support is coming to Best Buy stores in the U.S. later in 2015. The electronics retailer will be monitoring CurrentC's limited trial run but has not confirmed that it will be implementing the platform in stores. Other MCX members include 7-Eleven, Alon Brands, CVS, Darden Restaurants, HMSHost, Hy-Vee, Lowe's, Michaels, Publix, Sears, Shell, Sunoco, Target and Walmart, some of which have confirmed plans to launch CurrentC in the future. Other retailers remain in the process of exploring contactless payment

Apple Pay Rival CurrentC Launching in Limited Trial Next Month as Exclusivity Expires

The Merchant Customer Exchange's contactless payment system, CurrentC, is gearing up for a limited trial run next month in the stores of the companies that began backing MCX in 2012, including Walmart, Target, and Best Buy, according to unnamed sources speaking with Bloomberg. The service is backed by a large roster of retailers, from Sears to Wendy's, who support the platform as a way to avoid losing integral shopping data to an increasingly competitive market thanks to the likes of Apple and Google. CurrentC is different from Apple Pay however, using barcodes and RFID scanners in place of NFC terminals Apple took advantage of with Apple Pay. As Bloomberg points out, it also has a major hurdle regarding the signing of deals with major credit card companies, something it has yet to do. While MCX is getting closer to releasing its app, there are plenty of hurdles. It hasn’t signed deals with major credit-card companies like Visa to use bank-issued card accounts within the app. That means a shopper wouldn’t be able to use, say, a Visa debit card from JPMorgan Chase & Co. This can be done with competing products like Apple Pay. Instead, users of MCX’s app will be limited to private-label store cards, like Target’s REDcard, or they’ll have to give MCX their checking-account details. Also worrisome for MCX is the three-year exclusivity contract each retailer signed when the company began talks of the CurrentC system back in 2012. Those contracts -- which prohibited partnering with other mobile payment services -- begin to end next month, alongside CurrentC's soft launch

MCX CEO Out After Best Buy Begins Accepting Apple Pay

Just a day after Apple CEO Tim Cook announced that MCX member Best Buy would begin accepting Apple Pay in stores later this year, MCX, the company behind Apple Pay competitor CurrentC, announced that current CEO Dekkers Davidson has left the company. He's been replaced by former Bank of America Merchant Services CEO Brian V. Mooney on an interim basis. “MCX was created to capitalize on a tremendous opportunity for consumers, and I look forward to taking the company through the next exciting phase of bringing CurrentC™ to the market,” said Mooney. “MCX has a talented team in place backed by the determination and resources of many of the world’s largest and most successful merchants. Building on that foundation, we’re focused on making CurrentC™ the consumer preferred mobile payments app.”MCX spokeswoman Kristin Parran Faulder told CNET that the move had nothing to do with the Best Buy announcement. Coincidence or not, CurrentC, which is expected to launch widely later this year, will face increasing competition in the mobile payments sector from the more recently announced Samsung Pay and Android Pay as well as a growing Apple Pay. In recent weeks, Apple's payment platform has gained the support of Discover, GameStop, NBA teams and more in addition to Best Buy. Best Buy was the second MCX member, after Meijer, to offer Apple Pay support. Last October, former MCX CEO Davidson had said that there were no penalties or fines for leaving the MCX program. MCX exclusivity agreements with retailers reportedly end in summer 2015, which means that MCX members like Best Buy would

MCX Member Best Buy Begins Accepting Apple Pay in App, In-Store Support Coming

On an Apple Pay update shared during today's second quarter earnings call, Apple CEO Tim Cook announced that Best Buy will begin accepting Apple Pay in its iOS app today, with full Apple Pay support coming to Best Buy stores later in 2015. Best Buy's move to adopt Apple Pay is notable because Best Buy was previously a member of MCX, the Apple Pay competitor that's pushing the CurrentC payments service. CurrentC, which uses barcodes rather than NFC for payments, remains in testing and will launch later this year. Best Buy follows MCX member Meijer in offering Apple Pay to customers, and while both companies signed exclusivity agreements, MCX CEO Dekkers Davidson has said that there are no penalties or fines for leaving the MCX program. MCX members are not able to accept both CurrentC and Apple Pay at the same time, so it remains unclear if Best Buy remains a part of MCX. Apple also announced that the number of locations accepting Apple Pay has now tripled since the service first launched in October of 2014. Update 4:10 p.m. Pacific Time: According to sources that spoke to Re/code, Best Buy won't begin accepting Apple Pay until later in 2015 because its MCX exclusivity agreements don't expire until the summer of 2015. A Best Buy spokesperson told Re/code that the company remains invested in MCX, but did not say the company will offer MCX when it launches. "We are actively monitoring their pilots. It's too early to declare whether we will take it at